ZocdocAnswersWhat is partial placenta previa?

Question

What is partial placenta previa?

My doctor says my placenta covers part of my cervical opening. What does this mean exactly? Can I still have children?

Answer

Placental previa is a complication of pregnancy where the placenta covers the cervical opening (just as you said). Partial placenta previa is when the placental covers just part of the opening, but there is really no difference in the implications of this problem. Normally the placenta is supposed to implant on the back half of the uterus. The significance of this finding depends on what stage of your pregnancy your are currently in. If you are still early on (second trimester or early third trimester), then there is a chance that the placenta will move back into its correct position. If this is the case, then you will no longer have placenta previa and you should be in the clear in terms of complications. If the placenta does not move away from the cervical opening then you will not be able to have a vaginal delivery. The baby will need to be born by C-section. In addition, there is also a risk of placental bleeding, that would require an emergency C-section. I suggest that you schedule frequent visits with your OBGYN so that you can have both physical exams, and ultrasounds (if needed) as your pregnancy nears term. This way your doctor can track the position of your placenta and determine your risk for significant bleeding, and the need for a C-section.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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